Of all the types of seafood that mankind has learned to enjoy in this world, bivalves admittedly require more work than most. De-bearding mussels is mad tedious, and if you do it even once, you’ll realize why we pay a premium to have a fishmonger do it for us. It can take a while to truly get the hang of shucking. Basically, it’s no wonder that so many people just cut to the chase and head to a seafood restaurant, thank you very much.
Alas, friends, all that effort is worth it. Why? Because fresh mussels, clams, scallops, and oysters are one of the ocean’s greatest joys, and honestly, some of the fastest and most fool-proof types of seafood you can cook. (It is really easy—and quick—to steam clams.) You’ve probably got some extra time on your hands, so roll up your sleeves, watch a few YouTube tutorials on the safest ways to shuck an oyster (like our video with Island Creek’s Chris Sherman), and dive into these recipes for our favorite ways to prepare those finicky but tasty bivalves.
Frank Pepe’s White Clam Pizza Recipe
In the regional pizza wars, Frank Pepe’s of New Haven, Connecticut arguably wins the white clam pizza battle. But no matter where your loyalties lie, a Frank Pepe’s clam pie is undoubtedly one of the country’s best seafood-on-pizza experiences.
Ramen Noodles with Clam Sauce Recipe
As we mentioned, we love a freshly shucked clam that tastes like it was just plucked straight from the ocean. That said, we know fresh clams aren’t always easy to find. When the craving strikes anyway, here’s how to gussy up ramen noodles with a buttery sauce made with—yes—canned clams.
Beer-Steamed Mussels Recipe
If you’ve never cooked clams or mussels at home, these mussels steamed in beer broth are a great place to start: super straightforward, and finished in just 10 minutes. Be sure to have some rustic bread on hand to soak up the savory seafood broth.
Rhode Island Stuffies Recipe
What Rhode Island lacks in size, it makes up for in stellar summer seafood recipes—which makes sense given its 400 miles of coastline. No surprise, then, that stuffies—a mixture of clams, breadcrumbs, and herbs—are an Ocean State summer staple
Mussel, Clam, and Chickpea Stew Recipe
This absolutely protein-packed seafood stew is here to put a little meat on your bones. Sure, there are mussels and clams, but we didn’t stop there—Italian sausages and chickpeas add even more heft, for the kind of stew Popeye would like if he put down the spinach for a second.
Beer-Steamed Clams Cioppino Recipe
We’re not sure how exactly the whole beer-steamed seafood thing came about, but we’re thankful it’s A Thing so we can cross our drinks and our dinner ingredients off the list even faster. This beer-steamed clam recipe is about as simple as it gets, and we love it for that.
Linguine with Clams and Chorizo Recipe
The thing about clams is that they’re naturally a little sweeter than you might think, which means they can perfectly balance not only the salty flavor of Spanish chorizo but also the heat of red chiles. No wonder this pasta pairing is such a classic.
Clams in White Wine Sauce Recipe
Clams, pancetta, and white wine: a true classic. Serve that perfect pairing over pasta with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and you’ve got one stunner of a dinner party entrée. Save a little wine for drinking, of course.
Fideos with Clams and Uni Recipe
According to chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, fideos—like a pasta-based paella—is the kitchen sink-style dinner into which you can truly throw in whatever. For a fancy fideos, they like a combination of clams and uni, but riff to your heart’s content; we don’t all have a chef’s pantry.
Spaghetti Alle Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams) Recipe
Spaghetti with clams sounds straightforward, but this version from chef Karen Akunowicz throws in some unspoken but chef’s kiss-worthy innovations, like a tomato compound butter and anchovy breadcrumbs.
Shrimp and Oyster Po’Boys Recipe
Why choose one kind of seafood for your po’boy when you can have two? We like the way Louisiana chef Isaac Toups thinks, and when we can’t get ourselves to New Orleans, we’ll settle for making his shrimp and oyster po’boy at home.
Mussel Fritters Recipe
Step up your game past steamed mussels with these mussel fritters, which you’ll love if you’re a fan of crab cakes. Like any good fried seafood, you’ll want to serve them with a few lemon wedges to squeeze over top.
Rhode Island Clam Cakes Recipe
While “clam cakes” might sound like crab cakes, they’re not—these fluffy fried dough balls made with canned clams are perfect for dipping in chowder. Oyster crackers? Hardly know ‘em.
Mussels and Clams in Spicy Tomato Broth Recipe
If you’re not familiar with n’duja—the hot and spreadable Italian cured meat—this mussel and clam dish is the perfect introduction, because spicy, salty Italian meats go perfectly with shellfish.
Smoked Oysters with Ramp Butter Recipe
If you can’t get your hands on ramps (because ramp season is a fickle friend), then you can use roasted garlic and chives to top these smoky grilled oysters for a swanky summer appetizer.
Oysters Gregory Recipe
This stuffed oyster dish has all the cheesy, satisfying qualities of a luscious potato gratin, but with the addition of New England flavors like bacon and tarragon. Do yourself a favor and use the biggest East Coast oysters you can get your hands on.
Beer-Battered Seafood Recipe
We know there’s merit in keeping perfect seafood simple, but we also know that fried seafood is always bomb, especially on a summer day with a cold beer and a solid selection of dipping sauces. This beer batter recipe is the key to fried seafood success, perfect for oysters, clams, scallops, and more.
Seared Scallops with Oranges and Avocados Recipe
You might not make a perfectly seared, magazine-cover-worthy scallop on your first try. But hey, practice is also just a good excuse to eat more scallops. Finish your seared scallops with a simple bed of oranges and avocados.
Scallop Pad Thai Recipe
Well, our go-to Thai delivery spot doesn’t have scallops on the menu, but that’s the upside of cooking for yourself: You can make anything as indulgent as you wish. That said, this scallop pad thai is surprisingly easy.
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